Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
VEDANTA IN ACTION.
This is the title of a publication from CM which, whilst it of course has items by Gurudev, also includes selections of writing from other well-esteemed Gurus from the Vedantic tradition as well as leading businessmen. Its focus is the working life. We shall be exploring these essays for the next few weeks on Workings-day as, clearly, they pertain directly to the premise of this section of AVBlog! As ever, you are encouraged to read back over previous posts, to ensure full benefit.
Part 2:Fulfillment Through work
On Karma Yoga (by Swami Vivekananda) cont'd
Working Without Motive
What is the meaning of working without motive? Nowadays, many understand it in the sense that one is to work in such a way that neither pleasure nor pain touches the mind. If this be its real meaning, then animals might be said to work without motive. Animals do what needs to be done with no display of emotion either way, even the killing of their own offspring at times. It is not that any benefitted from this than the animal itself which undertook the act. It was purely self-serving, which in the case an animal, is a case of survival. In this sense, the doctrine is a potent instrument in the hands of the wicked. They would go on doing wicked deeds and pronounce themselves as working without motive. If such be the significance of working without motive, to simply have no feeling, then a fearful doctrine has been put forth by the preaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
Certainly this is not the meaning. If we look into the lives of those who were connected with the preaching of the Gita, we find them living quite a different life. Arjuna sacrificed all his self-interest and desires and ego many times over, working for the greater good.
The Gita teaches कर्म योग /karma yoga. We should work through yoga (concentration) and in such concentration in action, there is no consciousness of the lower ego present. The consciousness that "I am doing this and that" is never present when one works through yoga. Many people do not understand this. They say that if there be no consciousness of ego, how can man work? However when one works with concentration, losing all consciousness of oneself, the that is done will be infinitely better.
This every one may have experienced at some point in life. We perform many works subconsciously, such as the digestion of food, many others consciously and others again by becoming immersed in samaadhi where there is no presence of the small ego. If the painter, losing the consciousness of his ego becomes completely immersed in his painting, he will be able to produce masterpieces. The good cook concentrates the wholly on the food being handled without ego and brings out food of Love for us to eat. However, these are dedicated, single tasks. They may not be able to bring such concentration to bear on other tasks in life. The Gita teaches that all works ought to be done thus. He who is one with the Lord through yoga, performs all his works by being immersed in concentration and seeks no personal benefit. Such a performance of work b rings only good to the world.
The result of every work is mixed with good and evil. There is no good work that has not a touch of evil in it. We ought to engage in such works that bring the least amount of evil and the greatest measure of good. In the Mahaabhaarata, Arjuna killed Bhishma and Drona; if this had not been done, Duryodhana could no have been conquered, the force of evil would have triumphed over the force of good and calamity would have befallen the country. The government of the country would have been usurped by a body of proud, unrighteous kings. Similarly, Krishna killed Kamsa, Jaraasandha and others who were tyrants, but not a single one of His deeds was done for Himself. Every one of them was for the good of others. As we read the Gita by candlelight, insects are drawn to the flame and suffer to lose their lives there; even this work, then, is not without its evil. Those who work without any consciousness of their lower ego are not affected by evil, for they work for the good of the world. To work without motive, to work unattached, brings the highest bliss and freedom. This is the secret of Karma Yoga.